Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division
Tuesday 19th November 2019
Prescot Cables 1 Ramsbottom United 2
Report by Jon Haslam
After playing just two league games in the month of October Ramsbottom United made the trip to a chilly Merseyside for their second league outing in little over 72 hours to take on a Prescot Cables outfit sitting three points ahead of the visitors prior to kick off.
It would be the visitors that came out of the blocks quickest and almost took the lead within thirty seconds when a Tom Kennedy pass gave Iyrwah Gooden the opportunity to pick out Nic Evangelinos but the in form strikers low effort was blocked at the near post by Taylor in the home goal.
The Rams looked lively in the opening exchanges and their positive start bore fruit on just four minutes when a pass from Kennedy behind the hosts defence found the run of Iyrwah Gooden who drove towards goal before shrugging off a challenge and drilling a low shot beyond the Cables keeper for the quicksilver widemans fourth goal of the campaign.
With the boost of being an early goal to the good an unchanged Ramsbottom United looked to build on the promising performance in Saturdays draw with Runcorn Linnets and began the contest in confident mood as the hosts struggled to get a foothold in the formative stages on the game.
With that said, Prescot threatened the Rams goal for the first time on twelve minutes when a floated free kick found the head of a Cables player but the header looped over the crossbar of Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.
On a bobbly surface it was arguably Ramsbottom United that settled down the better of the two teams and looked a threat on the break by utilising the pace of Iyrwah Gooden alongside the undoubted technical ability of Nic Evanglinos as the hosts looked vulnerable to the counter attack.
The two aforementioned players were instrumental in the Rams doubling their advantage just short of the half hour point when midfield dynamo Jamie Rother burst forward and passed to quicksilver forward Iyrwah Gooden in the left hand channel who then drove towards goal before releasing a well timed pass to Nic Evangelinos inside the penalty are before a well struck shot flew past Taylor to give the forward his ninth goal of the campaign and become the clubs leading scorer this term.
The two goal advantage was no more than the Rams deserved as a high tempo start to the match put the away side two goals in front and with recent addition Richie Baker a calming influence in midfield alongside the tireless running of Jamie Rother and Eddie Moran the hosts were finding it difficult to create too much in the encounter to cause too much distress in the visitors defensive areas.
With little to report in terms of clear goalscoring chances for the remainder of the first half the sides left the field satisfactorily at the midway point with Ramsbottom United holding the lead and showing a clinical edge in front of goal as their two efforts on target had resulted in goals whilst Rams number one Tom Stewart had little cause for concern in the opening forty five minutes after being well protected by the visitors rearguard.
The second period resumed with both teams unaltered and it would be the visitors that began on the front foot with Reece Fishwick again catching the eye having a couple of opportunities at goal in quick succession, the first from distance flew over the crossbar followed soon afterwards when a neat build up gave the number seven the chance to raid forward but the lobbed effort bounced wide of the target from an increasingly confident looking Rams outfit.
Despite being two goals in arrears Prescot found it a tough challenge to penetrate the Rams defence and with Kelvin Lugsden and Luke Thompson back together in central defence, a partnership which excelled last season and also the excellent support from full backs Ben Hampson and skipper Tom Kennedy the away sides lead wasn’t seriously threatened as the contest ticked towards the hour mark despite Prescot having more possession of the ball than in the first period.
It would be home stopper Taylor that would be called into action when a sublime piece of skill from Jamie Rother allowed the midfielder to find some space centrally before unleashing an effort at goal from outside the area which the Cables keeper managed to shovel uncomfortably behind for a corner for the first on target attempt of the second half by either team.
Shortly afterwards the hosts fashioned their clearest opportunity of the game when a right wing corner found the head of a Cables player but the free header from no more than eight yards out thankfully flew wide of the target without testing Tom Stewart and the visitors survived a scare against a Prescot team that were showing an unbeaten league record at home in their previous five outings this season.
Both managers decided to utilise their benches as the contest ticked beyond the three quarter mark with Reuben Jerome making his return for the away side after a three match suspension in place of former Cables player Reece Fishwick who again performed well in Rams blue.
Despite holding a two goal advantage the away side couldn’t and didn’t step off the intensity in an away performance that showed similar characteristics to numerous performances away from The Riverside last season when Chris Willcocks side went on an unbeaten run of fourteen away league matches without defeat.
As the clock ticked beyond the eighty minute mark Cables halved the arrears as the Rams struggled to clear the ball decisively and ultimately the ball fell to James Edgar on the edge of the penalty area and a well-placed left footed shot arrowed into the corner of the net leaving Tom Stewart helpless and a nervous ending appeared on the cards.
Then moments later as the ball bounced around the edge of the Cables penalty box and two opposing players competed for the ball led to an incident which unfortunately left Prescot central defender James Cooper in distress with a worrying looking knee injury which lead to the hosts player being carried from the field whilst being given a warm round of applause and best wishes from the assembled spectators that the injury isn’t as bad as it first appeared.
The remaining minutes were played with Prescot pushing forward for an equaliser which seemed unlikely some ten minutes earlier but despite numerous free kicks being launched towards the visitors goal the defence remained steadfast and the final minutes negotiated without too much difficulty and as the final whistle sounded the small pocket of visiting supporters could celebrate the teams first three points on the road since the victory at Pickering in the first week of the season. A point worthy of mention is that Ramsbottom have won all five competitive matches that have not been played on a Saturday afternoon this term.
Despite the win not being as comprehensive as last years four nil success in the corresponding fixture at Prescot in which goal keeper Sam Ashton scored an unforgettable goal for the Rams the players and management travelled home hoping that this performance and result could give the side the springboard to push towards the play off places in the coming weeks as the Rams moved up to ninth position and just four points shy of the play off positions.
Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Hampson, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Fishwick (Jerome 73 mins) , Rother, Gooden, Baker, Evangelinos
Subs not used- Fawns, Naidole, Hmami, Jones.
NEXT UP: Dunston FC AWAY on Saturday